When we travel to Malaga and think of eating something typical of Malaga’s gastronomy, we all think of going to a chiringuito (beach bar) and ordering espetos of sardines overlooking the sea, a luxury that we can’t enjoy everywhere.
Sardines are not a dish exclusive to Malaga, but the way they are prepared is, unlike in other places where they are marinated, baked, grilled, etc. Here we grill them, giving them a different flavour that is so characteristic of our cuisine. There is also a notable difference in the size of the sardines, as smaller sardines are more common in Malaga.
To prepare an espeto of sardines (sardine skewer), certain key elements are needed. The first is to spit the sardines, the best way to do this is on a reed. This part is quite difficult if you are not practised. To prepare the fire, use dry wood, such as olive wood. The trick is to cook them for a short time, approximately a couple of minutes over very high heat.
But without a doubt the best thing about this oily fish is that it is very healthy, as it contains vitamins A, B, D and E, is a very good source of omega-3 and helps to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Malaga is a city very rich in gastronomy where you will find restaurants where you can enjoy delicious dishes of national and international cuisine as well as Michellin Stars, but you can’t leave the city without having tried this dish, so here I am going to describe the places where they prepare the best espetos in Malaga:
MIGUELITO EL CARIÑOSO
Right on the seafront of Predegalejo, very close to the neighbourhood of El Palo, this beach bar is one of the best known in Malaga, which is characterized by its atmosphere and the good treatment of the staff, which make you enjoy the food. If you want to eat one of the best espetos in Malaga, I definitely recommend you to visit this place, because among its specialties, which are many, the espetos are one of its star dishes.
Ask beforehand how many sardines come in each espeto, so that you know what to order and don’t go over or go hungry. There are usually 4 or 5, but the size varies from place to place.
They have a fairly extensive menu where you can choose meats, fried fish, grilled fish, seafood and rice dishes. I love every time I go there to order some fish to start and finish with a paella.
Paseo Marítimo Pedregalejo 77 29017 Málaga
Another place to eat the best espetos in Malaga is Casa Kiko, this beach bar located in the town of Rincón de la Victoria, a perfect place to visit and enjoy its beautiful beaches. It is characterised by the quality of its dishes, variety, customer service and the speed with which they attend you and serve you the food.
When I visit Rincón de la Victoria it is one of the places I have in mind to eat. The fish is of the day, and in addition to the sardines I recommend you also try the espetos of horse mackerel. One of the things I like most about Casa Kiko is that the fried fish is well dried and not at all oily, so the food is light.
It’s a place that gets crowded at weekends and especially in summer, so I recommend booking in advance.
Calle Carmen Bravo López la Partera, 18 29730 Rincón de la Victoria (Málaga)
If we had to choose the best known chiringuito in Malaga, it would undoubtedly be El Tintero, not because of its location (in the neighbourhood of El Palo), its variety and quality, which also stand out, but because in this restaurant there is no menu, the waiters “sing the dishes” and if you want you raise your hand and they bring it to the table. This characteristic system has made this place a must.
Don’t worry if there’s no menu, you’ll be able to eat everything, and you won’t run out of food, as they keep putting out food. Besides the fact that the food is really good and they know how to prepare fish well, the price is quite good.
For meat and barbecue lovers, there is also the Tintero Campero, in the town of Cártama, with the same auction system.
Avenida Salvador Allende, 340 29017 Málaga
CHIRINGUITO EL CACHALOTE
This restaurant is located on the Malagueta beach, very close to the historic centre of Malaga city. It stands out in other things for its variety, good price and above all for its quality, as the fish is fresh, and that is an attraction when choosing a place to eat good fish and espetos of sardines.
Within its extensive menu, you can find grilled or fried fish, such as espetos, gilthead bream, snapper, sea bass, squid or prawns. If you also fancy trying paella, they have different varieties such as mixed, seafood, meat or rice with lobster.
Paseo Ruíz Picasso s/n 29016 Málaga
CHIRINGUITO EL CUARTEL
Also located in Rincón de la Victoria, almost at the end of the promenade, this chiringuito stands out because it is right on the beach, and the tables are on the sand, so you are eating while watching the scenery and you get that characteristic smell of salt and sea.As in the other chiringuitos they have an extensive menu and the espetos are without a doubt an attraction, being one of the best places to eat espetos in Malaga.
In this chiringuito the sardines are bigger than in others, so don’t order too many espetos if you want to eat other specialities as well. In addition to the variety of fish they have, they also make paellas, so what better way to end the meal than with a good plate. They have live shows on some days.
Avenida de la Torre, 80 29738 Rincón de la Victoria (Málaga)